Oct 23, 2013 09:00 AM WV Sound
Keeping a beat in the Mountain State
Halloween with Stonewall Jackson 5ive
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Each Halloween since 2008, Morgantown rock band Stonewall Jackson 5ive takes the stage at 123 Pleasant Street donning creepy, intricate homemade masks and costumes with a montage of bizarre images on a screen behind them. Eyeballs, skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, flies, and demonic-looking goats are the masks they’ve made in previous years. The enthralling performances and anticipation of seeing what masks the band creates next have led the annual show to become legendary to fans.
The Stonewall Jackson 5ive is Donnie Duppee on guitar, Roger Glass on drums, Jeff Hindal on guitar and vocals, Dave Krovich on bass and vocals, and Jeff Ryan on keyboards.
When did you get the idea to make masks for your Halloween performances?
Jeff Ryan: In 2008 we decided we were going to be the Residents. The Residents, if you don't know them, performed anonymously for almost 40 years with giant eyeballs on their heads.
What do you enjoy most about the disguise-yourself aspect of this holiday?
Jeff Ryan: I love the idea of rock-and-roll theater. In 1977 I discovered KISS. It changed my life. What we do on Halloween is the closest thing to that kind of over-the-top showmanship I will ever be involved with.
Is it more difficult to perform in masks?
Dave: The masks add a variety of challenges. It makes communication during the set incredibly difficult. We can’t really talk to each other, visibility is limited, and wearing the masks changes the way everything sounds. Things that you take for granted like being able to see the fret board on the guitar are taken away from you. It really presents a new set of challenges to performing.
Jeff Ryan: It’s getting easier. After five years of wearing masks, we have worked out a lot of problems. The masks in the past have been heavy. Vision has always been a concern. Making masks that allow Jeff Hindal to be able to sing is always a design snag.
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